Single leg strength for a better golf swing

From my perspective, it is wonderful to see golfers improving their performance through strength-training programs. However, strength training is only effective if it produces the desired results. Strength for golf doesn’t necessarily require lifting like a body builder, what should be a priority is how functional the exercise is to the activity.

The majority of the time in golf we stand on two feet to play a shot, so it may make sense then to train leg strength the same way, using both legs at the same time with the weight evenly distributed between both feet. More than likely you would have seen or done many of the traditional leg workout exercises, squats and leg press are two that come to mind straight away, both are great for building leg strength and have a place in golf strength training. However, often neglected for building functional lower body strength for golf are the single leg exercises.

Whichever method or system of golf swing you use, inevitably somewhere in there you will put more weight on one leg than the other, accelerate the club through from the back swing to the follow-through and come to a stop, poised on the front leg.

Having stronger single leg strength can enhance your ability to shift and control the weight transition and help generate speed for the golf swing.

The single leg box squat is an effective and simple leg strength exercise that will increase lower body strength, control and stability. All of which help to create a stronger base for you your golf swing.

To perform this exercise you will need a box, step or bench that’s about knee height that you can stand on.

Stand on the bench or box on one foot and hold your arms out in front of you.  Keep your torso as upright as possible and bend evenly from your hip, knee and ankle slowly lowering your body. Keeping your knee and foot aligned, lightly touch your heel to the floor or as far as your knee and foot remain aligned. Pause for 1 second, then return to the start position.

If you are struggling with keeping your balance, you may like to start this exercise by lightly holding onto the wall or a pole. Progressively, as you get stronger, you can move away from the wall and begin to increase the range of movement, getting into a lower position.

For those who have knee injuries or damage that causes pain when doing this exercise you may find a static single leg squat helpful. Put yourself into the squat position and hold for 5 -10 seconds, maintaining alignment and control. Again, if you need to use the wall for assistance, do so.

Alternatively, a split squat with the rear foot on a bench or box will help with taking some of the weight of the working leg and provide extra stability. As with the single leg box squat keep your torso upright and the hip knee and foot aligned.

Whatever your golfing ability, strength training can aid in your quest to be a better player. With just a few pieces of equipment, your game can benefit from a functional fitness and conditioning program.


Happy Golfing!

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